Restricted spine can contribute unfavorable swing characteristics

Restricted spine can contribute unfavorable swing characteristics

Golf is an athletic activity enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. There are more than 55 million golfers around the world, and the number of participants is increasing worldwide. This is because golf is not an intense activity, it is especially suitable for older people to stay active and improve their health. 

However, golfers prone to risk injury especially on the back, shoulder, wrist and hand, elbow, and knee due to unique compressive, shear, rotational, and lateral bending forces created in the lumbar region during the golf swing. Trunk hyperextension at the end of golf swing has been considered a risk factor for low back injuries by increasing spinal forces.

There are lots of potential causes and various type of injury. But total workload and practice volumes, lack of warm up, technique, equipment/environment, overused and physical condition all play a part.

Swing Mechanics Overview

Golf swing divided into setup, backswing, transition, downswing, and follow-through. Large release of power/energy during the downswing and deceleration forces during the follow-through, these phases are responsible for the majority of injuries during golf.

Analysis of muscle activity during the golf swing reveals heightened activity of the scapular stabilizers, erector spinae, abdominal obliques, and hamstrings during the backswing. The scapular stabilizers, pectoralis major, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, adductor magnus, and abdominal obliques are the most active muscles during the downswing into impact. During follow-through, the vastus lateralis, gluteus medius, abdominal obliques, adductor magnus, rotator cuff, and hamstrings all play a major role. (Erik P. Meira, 2010)

Why mobility and postural stability is important?

For golfers, lack of flexibility in the hip flexors and limitations of internal rotation can cause injuries to the low back. Research found that it is useful to stretch your trunk rotators and shoulder musculature as they are integral to swing phase.

Moreover, reduced in muscle strength and flexibility of the trunk and hip, spinal proprioception, and postural stability can contribute to the relationship between trunk motion and low back injuries. Deficient of spinal proprioception will affect normal neuromuscular control of the spine and alter the sense of body position and movement. (Edward R.LaskowskiMD, 2000)

Impairment in strength, coordination, or effective coupling of muscles in the lumbar and pelvic region can cause postural instability. (Luoto, Satu BM, 2000)

Finally, weak trunk extension and reduced spine rotation could mechanically impact spinal structures contributing to LBP and weak hip adductors can fail to stabilize the pelvis during your weight bearing. (Lephart SM, , Smoliga JM, 2007)

Seek for professional help as soon as possible if you are down with an injury. Injury has turned chronic when time goes by. As last, the prognosis for recovery is also far worse.

Contact us so we may help you return to your daily activities or sports.